How to handle the rogue state of North Korea is a question that often leads to no solution. Some people are too fearful of the country’s nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to restrain them with international pressure. Most fail to realize that the only option, other than force, is to peacefully apply sanctions and push for disarmament. The recent sanctions by the United Nations are ultimately insubstantial because the decision not to establish a total oil embargo will allow North Korea to retain its arsenal.
Over a month ago, Kim Jong Un claimed to have missiles that could hit Guam, and furthermore threatened to launch these missiles. Shortly after the announcement, Un pulled back once President Donald Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea in response to the leader’s threats. Still, North Korea cannot walk away from its threats against Guam. The country is already too weak to show further weakness in the regime. If North Korea is not restrained soon, the US may eventually be forced to invade.
This can still be avoided if the international community acts swiftly. Sanctions, like the 2006 arms and asset sanction, have worked in the past to disincentivize nuclear missile programs while encouraging nuclear energy programs to occupy researchers and scientists. While it remains doubtful a North Korean ICBM will be launched, it doesn’t hurt to restrict their potential to do so. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted on July 7, 2017, is a step toward accomplishing that, though the treaty only goes into effect after receiving ratification from at least 50 countries.
Sanctions show unification through division, uniting the world against international threats while isolating the threat from receiving support. If only Russia and China would have supported the oil embargo on North Korea earlier, then we might have had our chance at a nuclear disarmed world. Russia and China are two of the three world superpowers, including the United States, and a unified sanction between the three that deters the rogue state from creating nuclear weapons is essential to continuing the most globally peaceful time in human history.
With the US diplomats to the UN returning home with no embargo, no blockade and no new sanctions for North Korea, we may yet see the rogue state act foolishly without any sense of judgment. You cannot simply threaten the lives of innocent people with nuclear armageddon and get away with it. Not only do innocent people now live within range of North Korean missiles, but we also now have Americans living within that dangerous radius. Unfortunately, in the wake of Trump’s response to North Korea, many centered their shame on the president rather than the country that has nuclear missiles pointed at our people.
This is, and always will be, a nuclear armageddon issue. Our focus can not be deterred from that. North Korea is under the rule of a crazy man who has nukes aimed at Guam. Sure, they do not have the arsenal of some evil villain with a stockpile of Soviet-era missiles and it is doubtful that there is sufficient enough plutonium or uranium in North Korea’s possession to warrant immediate concern, but the threat they pose is serious. North Korea has yet to slow their threats and Un’s persistence calls for the nations to finally unite together to end the rogue state’s shenanigans once and for all.